29 May 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.04.2017

Remarks by Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OPCW, Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, at the 54th Meeting of the OPCW Executive Council, The Hague, April 13, 2017

Madame Chairperson,

Being a responsible party to the CWC, the Russian Federation unconditionally condemns the use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere. We strongly deny any accusations against Russia that it acted as an enabler in the tragic events in Syria or was even complicit in the perpetration of any crime using chemical weapons. This is a blatant falsehood.

The message echoed at this meeting by a number of delegations that Russia is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage and stands on its own following the April 12, 2017 vote in the UN Security Council is totally groundless. This is wishful thinking. In real life, Russia has adopted an inclusive and honest position that is clear for anyone acting in good faith. Russia could not accept the draft resolution during yesterday’s vote at the UN Security Council.

In fact, the Western troika submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that was biased, lacked evidence and also pointed a finger at Syria. It was only formally devoted to investigating the Idlib incident, since it even lacked a provision on the need to work on the ground. Against this backdrop, Russia had no other option but to veto the document. No one should be misled about why Russia used its veto right in the UN Security Council.

I would also like to respond to what US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said about Russia allegedly making false claims about the OPCW, pretending that its executive made statements they had not. That was a very strange thing to hear, to say the least. Let me remind you of a quote from the report of the 76th Session of the OPCW Executive Council, in which the Council noted “the completed elimination by 23 June 2014, i.e. in the first half of 2014 as envisaged in EC-M-33/DEC.1 (dated 27 September 2013), of all declared chemical weapons material and equipment from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, despite uniquely challenging conditions.” May I ask you what this means, if not a confirmation by the OPCW that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria was completed? So my advice for the US Ambassador would be to pay more attention to official OPCW documents. As for the clarification made to the initial declaration by Syria, everyone is aware of the challenging conditions in which it was prepared. It had to be submitted on very short notice and in the midst of a military conflict. It is obvious that the Syrians will have to clarify some points. There is nothing unusual about this, and other states that possess chemical weapons, including the US, have adjusted their initial declarations as well.




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22.05.2017 - Press release on a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East

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